Scope of engine use: C2.2 to C27ACERT®
Cat Dealer:Ziegler Cat
"Find a need. Fill that need with a product built to last. And simply build the best!”
This quote from Gary Vermeer, founder of Vermeer Manufacturing in Pella, Iowa, describes not only how this well-known OEM works with its worldwide customers, but also how it works with its suppliers.
Based on this philosophy, “Vermeer provides equipment through an independent, authorized dealer network offering sales, support, service and parts,” explains Mike Byram, senior director of Vermeer’s Environmental Business segment. “The company is committed to its vision of taking care of customers worldwide with better solutions and with the help of quality suppliers.”
One of those suppliers is Caterpillar and the Caterpillar OEM Solutions Group.
“Our ties with the Caterpillar OEM Solutions Group mostly involve the purchase of Cat industrial engines, but we also purchase Caterpillar track chain for our trenchers, a complete Cat® 304 lower undercarriage for our BC1400TX grinder, as well as numerous other design components,” says Byram.
The relationship between Caterpillar and Vermeer began more than 20 years ago and continues to remain strong today. Ziegler Power Systems, the local Cat dealer, has been an integral player in the engine installation and design of Vermeer equipment with Cat engines and components.
“Ziegler Cat has been very involved with our engine program. Their involvement ranges from design through the installation testing process and review,” explains Byram. “Our relationship also goes beyond the components and systems we purchase from Caterpillar. We’ve gone to Ziegler several times for their design expertise for our undercarriages. We provide input on application speeds, weights and other technical requirements, and they help us determine the best undercarriages for our applications.”
He adds, “As emissions standards change and tighten in the future with the upcoming Tier 4 regulations, we’re already working with Cat and Ziegler to better understand what this will mean for the engines and our machines. Our relationship with Ziegler Cat is a good one; the people there have always been a good source for information and service.”
Cat engines are the exclusive power option for all Vermeer equipment applications above 300 hp (224 kW).
“The global presence and popularity of Cat engines in industrial settings led our company to select Cat engines for our equipment requiring 300 hp or more,” Byram says. “Customers want a commonality of engines with their other equipment. Cat engines are definitely their preference. We’ve used other brands years ago, but now we’ve decided to stay with Cat engines as a response to customer input.”
Current models using Cat engines include the 440-hp (328 kW) C13 ACERT™ and the 540-hp (403 kW) C15 ACERT in tub grinders and the 630-hp (470 kW) C18 ACERT in horizontal grinders.
“We provide Cat engines to Vermeer for a variety of applications and today Cat engines power 20 Vermeer products,” says Ralph Dupslaff, sales engineer at Ziegler Cat’s Power Systems division.
To date, Vermeer purchases not only Cat engines but also Cat undercarriage components, digger chain, seals and other design components.
Vermeer track trenchers rely on Caterpillar components. They use Cat D6 through D8 chain on the track trencher line as digging chain and D8 chain on its undercarriage.
Vermeer SC602 and SC60TX stump grinders use 60-hp (44.7-kW) Cat 3024 engines (transitioning to Cat C2.2 engines).
The Vermeer BC1400TX brush chipper uses 122-hp (91-kW) Cat 3054 engines (transitioning to Cat C4.4 ACERT engines) and a complete Cat 304 lower undercarriage.
“The flexible Cat track undercarriage allows operators to steer the mid-sized chipper through areas where a tow vehicle may not be able to maneuver due to uneven terrain, confined working areas or forestry applications,” explains Byram.
The track design also offers lower ground pressure over a trailered machine, helping to reduce ground disturbance.
Vermeer plans to continue its “total solutions” approach in the future. Byram notes that international sales are up substantially, “and they’re projected to grow, with Cat engines being the primary engine in new models built for the international market. The worldwide Cat service network makes them an obvious choice for equipment distributed around the world,” he says.
Byram concludes, “Vermeer has some exciting products coming, and we are relying on Cat integrated systems and Cat engines as our power plant choice for these products. Just as engines with ACERT Technology are a long-term solution for meeting emissions technology, our new Vermeer machines will continue to offer our customers innovative solutions with equipment that lasts.”